I have owned and driven many different makes of cars and trucks and non of them new, and this one has won me over to Subaru. It has its quirks that many people have listed as major problems, but if you are buying a used car or any car there are the ups and downs. With this one, there are a few, in the gearing there is a lurching at a low speed if you don't feather the clutch right, I am a larger fellow and it can be difficult to get in and out of and in winter with a coat it is annoying, there is a flaw in the design of the fender panels that leads to a rotting problem in the steel, and for the life of me I don't know why they don't give the wheels more clearance it packs snow like crazy! However with all of that I must say the thing performs! I have climbed hills where other AWD and 4x4 vehicles ended up in the ditch, any problem I have had with it is nothing I haven't seen worse in other used vehicles and most of the time come's down to general maintenance, any company produces its lemons, and I must say I haven't had cause to deal with a Subaru customer service, never owning a car new enough to be under any warranty, but I trust this vehicle to get me to where I need to go no matter the obstruction.
I purchased this car 4 or 5 years ago from a local dealer. Although it has had its problems, which are expensive to repair (my local Meineke does not like me to bring it to them because "everything is just a little bit different than a regular car) ... so far they have not refused to service it. Rust is a definite problem and I've had the rust repaired several times. Despite my review I'd buy another one in a minute!
This is a great car. We wanted a car that was a little different from what most people are driving and felt we succeeded. We've had it dealer maintained and haven't had to do anything other than routine maintenance. We just finished a cross country trip in it and it was comfortable and smooth. Averaged 28-29 mpg on the trip.
If you're shopping for a used Subaru, buy an '04. Very dependable car, no trouble. Mine has more than 100K miles and getting 27 mpg. According to a local Subaru mechanic, '04 is the best year for Subarus. Run from the '05s. See my review for our '05 Outback XT under title "Money Pit". It's hard to believe the cars are from the same manufacturer. The '04 has been a perfect car and the '05 was a horribly expensive nightmare. We're keeping the '04 and plan to put another 100K miles on it.
This can is great for all situations. I drive in the city, and have taken it on the highway too. Its ride is smooth and the handling is great. The best test of this car is winter weather and it handles like a dream. That AWD really works.